June-Sept. 2017 Recap. (Yikes!)

1. Well apparently my Saturday 7 posting died a swift and painless death back in April and I never looked back. I do think aiming to post every week was a little overly ambitious, even for a wordy person like me. The real issue is that I don't get on the computer much anymore. I was looking back at my old blog (check out xanga.com/sarahellie for a real TBT ;))  I think I might try to print that whole blog into a book; it's pretty much the only record I have of that time. I've been printing my insta pics into yearly books since 2012 so I have that era down... and then I switched to here. I'm really just missing the years 2000-2003 (the three-ish years Dan and I were married without kids. I kinda wish I had some kind of record about those years. What did we even do all day!?) Also this blog has large holes in its timeline as well. What can I say, I'm just not that great at sitting down to record our days. However, I'm sure one day I will look back at these writings as pure treasure so my new goal is to write the Saturday 7 once a month. We shall see how it goes...

2. Our summer was great. Lots of lake days and family and travel -- all ingredients for a fantastic summer, am I right!? In June I took the kids to the beach for a couple days with my friend and her kids. It was the only time we got to the Jersey shore all summer! We then spent several weeks with visiting family from Missouri, and traveled to Vermont and Maine. In July the kids did lots of day camps (nature camp, robotics camp, basketball camp!) and the girls did a week of sleep away camp at the fantastic Mt. Gilead and loved it! (I can't believe my 7yo and 12yo spent their first weeks away from home at the same time! Kids are sooo different.) Will did a week of student leadership day camp in DC; Dan toured the city with Hallie and Tristan while Olivia and I hung out (mostly at the lake ;)) with our fresh Air Fund kiddo Selina who was back for her 5th summer with us! Will got asked to come back to robotics camp next year and be the teaching assistant for the class, which he is thrilled about. August brought Anna and Kennet's wedding in Honduras. It was fantastic to reconnect with old friends and enjoy the sun and sand one last time. And of course the wedding was beautiful!!

3. We decided to put all the kiddos in school this year and that started early for our area-- August 22nd. It has been our best transition year yet! All four are thriving and growing and enjoying their classes and teachers and friends. I'm so grateful! And I got to volunteer for the first time ever, at Earth Fest last week which was a blast.

4. So I know you're all dying to ask-- since my kids are all in school this year, WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY TIME/SELF/LIFE?! Well I have to admit, the first few days were odd. I had no idea what to do! But I have found a few things to keep me busy:

- staying active. I've started hiking and going for bike rides and trying hot yoga and a few different gyms and classes. I've never had the opportunity to do the "working out" thing before so that's been kinda fun.
- watching my friend's baby Seneca! She's 11 months old and I have her for 10 hours every Monday. I love it. I forgot how inefficient babies are (lol) but it's been so much fun for have a baby for a whole day every week. The kids love having her around too.
- cleaning out and decluttering closets. Man, that could basically be a full time job! How does so much stuff accumulate?! It does feel really ridiculously awesome to take bags and bags of stuff to Salvation Army.
- I'm also going to be volunteering as a CASA. Training starts next month and it's 6 hours a week which will certainly be a sacrifice/ difficult to squeeze in to our already busy lives... but I really believe in the cause, and Dan is super supportive so.... sometimes you just gotta take the leap of faith and believe that everything will fall into place and it will all work out!
- I am the new kids' coordinator for our local MOPS group. We meet every other week and I am loving it so far! MOPS was such a huge blessing to me in my early years of parenting and I am so thrilled to have the space and bandwidth to "pay it forward" to another group of young moms who are in the exhausting trenches of raising toddlers.
- meal planning! I know this is kind of a silly one, but with the kids getting home at 3:30 everyday and needing to deal with homework and hungry people in the short window before activities start, having a dinner plan has been awesome. I've been using Plan to Eat and the integrated recipe and calendar planning feature has been super easy and useful.

5. Kids activities this season include soccer (for Will, Tristan, and Olivia-- who I am surprise coaching!) and art and flute lessons for Hallie and karate for the boys. (The mom taxi is in full swing.) Will decided to play soccer for school this year (after a 6 year hiatus!) and has practice every day after school. I expected him to hate it but so far he's been really enjoying it!

6. My phone got lost in Honduras (on the last day!) and I was borrowing a friend's for about a month, and last week I finally got a new one. It's such a #firstworldproblem to not have your phone up to speed but honestly, it's been great to finally have my calendars, music, email, messages, etc. etc. (including my favorite app Streaks!) back again. I feel like I need my phone to keep my life running smoothly these days. Sad but true!

7. I've never been a TV show person (besides the Office, which will obvi be my fave show for life) but last month I got into This Is Us and slammed the entire first season in couple weeks (Dan was away for work a bunch of nights, so I made the most of it ;)). Now season 2 is starting and I'm making him watch it with me. It's too good to miss!!

BONUS! 8. Monday I got back from my twice-yearly Appalachian trail hiking trip with my friend Rachel. We knocked out a little over 14 miles on the AT in New Jersey. Our "chunk" of hiked trail is now 95 miles long and extends from central Pa into northern New Jersey. We need only 2-3 more weekends to finish NJ, but it will still be years for PA... stay tuned for a completion update in about 4-5 years, haha.

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